Georgia Leading Suit Over Temporary Farm Workers Rule

Attorney General Chris Carr has filed suit against the Biden administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) over a new rule that would force agricultural employers to allow temporary foreign-migrant workers to form a union and engage in collective bargaining. 

“President Biden is using his Department of Labor to burden American farmers, and we’re fighting back,” said Carr. “At a time when every industry is struggling with workforce and rising costs, these unreasonable and unlawful demands will devastate agricultural employers throughout our state. We will continue to stand with Georgia’s hardworking farmers by putting a stop to the absurd regulations that are coming out of D.C.”

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) allows certain employees to unionize and engage in collective bargaining. Congress specifically excluded agricultural workers from the NLRA and that distinction has remained for nearly 90 years. As asserted in the complaint, the rule creates a situation where hundreds of thousands of temporary foreign-migrant workers are granted rights that are not shared by millions of American farm workers.

The attorneys general argue that the rule violates the NLRA and that DOL is using the agency rule-making process to accomplish what Congress has already concluded it cannot do.

The coalition further argues that the rule is arbitrary and capricious and exceeds DOL’s statutory authority.

Carr is joined in this lawsuit by Miles Berry Farm, the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the attorneys general of Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

The complaint was filed on June 10, 2024, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.

Read the complaint

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